Solitude is a state of seclusion or isolation, it may be a deliberate choice, or by a circumstantial decision.
Solitude is the most important spiritual discipline, especially for Pastors. In Bible College I was taught the beneficial importance of solitude as a means to practice hearing the voice and presence of God. It is in this place that we learn to be still and know that He is God (Ref: Psalm 46:10). If any of you know pastors, are married to a pastor or simply are a pastor, you will understand that solitude is essential in developing sermons, teachings, conferences, etc. It is in this place where you intentionally chose to remove yourself from distraction so that you can be equipped to walk in peace as opposed to anxiousness.
Solitude can be difficult to master, if it can be mastered at all. I feel as though I've had seasons where I was more diligent in this practice. In the last two years I have been incredibly diligent in finding solitude whether in my home, in a quiet park, by the water or in a café journaling. Intentionality coupled with consistency is the key.
The bible teaches us in the Old and the New Testament the importance of drawing close to our Father. David paints a tranquil picture in Psalm 23:3 of finding peace laying in green pastures or by the still waters. Where is your place of peace? Find it. If you have lost it, then your life is full of too much idleness. Anything that takes up primary residence in your mind and heart that is outside of your primary relationship with Christ is idleness. A career, marriage, relationship, friendship, extracurricular activities, etc. If these hold more value than our first love, the Father, dear ones, it is idleness.
Sarah Young wrote it perfectly in her devotional "Jesus Calling". She captures the voice of the Father saying "Imagine the pain I feel when my children tie themselves up in anxious knots, ignoring my gifts of peace." My peace is an inner treasure, growing within you as you trust in Me."
I've heard many say that they feel uncomfortable in silence because they don’t like to be alone with their thoughts and so they would rather fill up their schedules with people and activities to keep themselves busy rather than feeling lonely. I think the bigger question is: are you afraid to discover who you've become as opposed to who you should be? I don’t know who is reading this today, but in the place of solitude you are never going to feel lonely. You are only going to discover more intimately the richness of love, comfort and the essence of emotional and spiritual healing when you chose to be alone with God.
Solitude taught me to question the negative thoughts; solitude taught me where to draw for strength when I was low, solitude taught me to hope in the Lord of Glory; solitude taught me to warfare and come against lies and discouragement; solitude taught me how to use wisdom and knowledge to gain deeper revelation, solitude taught me how to surrender, how to grow in compassion. Solitude softened my heart to receive the gentle corrections from Abba Father. It taught me who I am and what I mean to God. Solitude taught me to ask for forgiveness in the area of idleness; Solitude taught me that I must make room for God in order to increase in capacity. Discipline yourself to learn this principle because solitude is where clear perspective is gained.